Mandan businessman Terry Barnes said he’s entering the Bismarck mayor’s race at the urging of a number of citizens.

“People told me, ‘Terry, it’s time,’" he said.

Barnes, who works in Mandan but lives in Bismarck, said Bismarck needs a change.

“I’m the change,” he said.

Barnes indicated he feels leadership dropped the ball when dealing with homelessness and thinks Mayor Mike Seminary has taken the town in the wrong direction.

“I’m going to get Bismarck back to what Bismarck was,” he said.

He wants to see the city debt free and to get away from what he calls “private deals that benefit special interests,” citing the proposed FiveSouth mixed-use development as an example.

Barnes also said he doesn’t have a solution yet but wants to fix traffic on Main Avenue, adding that he doesn’t think the lane changes and traffic signals are working. As far as funding for Bismarck’s growing infrastructure, he said he needs to take more input for a solution.

Barnes said, if elected, he only plans to serve one term. He said he would have run four years ago but he was battling health issues.

Other contenders in the race are Steve Bakken, a former radio show host who works for a Bismarck engineering firm, and incumbent, Mike Seminary.

Barnes also ran as a Democrat for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner in 2004.

Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or